Democracy and living well: a Call to Conscience

10.12.2018 - London, United Kingdom - Pressenza London

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Democracy and living well: a Call to Conscience

Let’s unite to defend life and resist global threats!

The Call to Conscience is an initiative of the Dialogues in Humanity Network. It synthesizes the two major threats hanging over humanity today: market fundamentalism and identity fundamentalism. The first leads to the oppression and exploitation of human beings by the market system, as well as the destruction of biomes and ecosystems and the warming of the atmosphere by greenhouse gas emissions, which already reach too dangerous levels.

The second leads to an emotional and relational “Ice Age”, which stifles the sense of solidarity and generates contempt for the most oppressed and vulnerable. It also leads to unique, dogmatic, totalitarian and excluding thinking. The CALL invites us to unite to resist these threats and combat them with actions that go to their root and not only to their symptoms.

The Appeal will be launched three times during the month of December 2018: the Climate Conference (COP24), in Poland; the events commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) – UN; and the Agora of the Earth’s Inhabitants, which will meet in Sezano/Verona, Italy, between 13 and 16.12.18. From this Meeting, action guidelines will emerge to confront by all non-violent means the economic, political, social, cultural and ideological system that is at the root of the afflictions experienced today by life and humanity on planet Earth.

A Call to Conscience

Planetary Citizen Networks

On the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

The drawing represents Elix, symbol of a citizen of a peaceful world, chosen by the United Nations to illustrate the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

We, citizens of the peoples of the Earth, are aware of the mortal danger weighing on the future of our common humanity. In fact, a double climactic disturbance threatens life on our planet. The first disturbance is ecological and concerns the risk facing our Earthly Home – our “Mother Earth” in the words of the first peoples – of becoming uninhabitable for an increasing number of people. If the temperature rises to 4 degrees Celsius, it would affect more than a billion human beings, and much more if it goes higher. The average increase in warming is accentuating extreme events such as floods, droughts, fires, plagues, cyclones and storms.

But the world is facing another kind of devastation: a social, political and emotional “Ice Age” fueled by broadening inequalities. Existential fears are giving rise to hateful ideologies that wreak havoc on societies by turning people against each other, especially against the most vulnerable. These hate-mongering political movements exploit the fears of falling down the social ladder, and this results in a struggle between the victims at the bottom: the workers, the precarious, the homeless, the immigrants. Those who feel threatened with losing the little they have fear that others – even poorer than they are – will take their place.

In its ambition, its cynicism and its inequality, market fundamentalism has given rise to a monstrous pairing: identity fundamentalism, which can assume religious, nationalist, xenophobic forms, expressing itself through armed force and at the polling booth. The coming to power of individuals who pose a threat not only to democracy and human rights – starting with women’s rights – but also to ecological balance is an increasingly dangerous manifestation of such fundamentalism. In the Philippines, Hungary, the United States, Italy, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, and elsewhere, socially and environmentally unjustifiable forces threaten what is most essential to humanity: to live in peace on a habitable planet.

Through the orchestration of fear and the manipulation of information in electoral campaigns, irresponsible and criminal elements can now, as in the 1930s, come to power hiding under seemingly legal arrangements, taking advantage of the cynicism of some and the fear or cowardice of others.

In the face of this double risk and the global battle now presenting itself, we refuse to yield to fear or passively tolerate the spread of this deadly danger. We will organize a creative Resistance everywhere, based on the rejection of social retrogression, ecological irresponsibility and contempt for fundamental human rights.

Let us declare illegitimate any power not supporting the three essential pillars of humanity’s coexistence on a secure planet: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the social pacts of the United Nations and the international conventions aimed at ensuring the sustainability of our planet, particularly the Paris Agreement’s plan to mitigate climate change. We refuse, through all nonviolent means at our disposal, including boycotts and civil disobedience against illegitimate authority, to let ourselves be dominated or intimidated by those powers. Let us create, whenever possible, refugee-territories for the victims of these powers and oases of life to confront the deserts of death that jointly produce social retrogression, ecological irresponsibility and violation of human rights. Let us organize ourselves to build this creative Resistance, but also to live in positive ways with all those who each day choose the economic, ecological, social, political and cultural values of Living Well. We will work to link all these territories and all these oases of life, from the neighborhoods of our cities and the villages of our countrysides, to our Earthly Home.

Let us solemnly launch this Call to Conscience on December 10, 2018, the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.






Categories: Ecology and Environment, Human Rights, International, Nonviolence
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